All-rounder Faheem Ashraf and off-spinner Bilal Asif have been appointed to the test squad in Pakistan for the first of two tests against Bangladesh, which will be held in Rawalpindi from February 7.
Ashraf was eliminated from home series against Sri Lanka in December, while Asif last played against New Zealand in December 2018.
The duo is being recalled for excellence in the Qaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan’s premier competition. Asif returned 43 gates at 11:16 p.m. Ashraf sacked eight scalp plugs during the Central Punjab winning campaign and scored two fifties out of four innings.
They make room in the 16-member squad: left-wing spinner Kashif Bhatti and medium-speed Usman Shinwari.
“We followed the guidelines for testing horses against Bangladesh,” said selector and head coach Misbah ul Haq. “I know the two players who have been left out will be disappointed, but they remain firm in our plans for the red ball cricket that we will be playing later this year.”
“Bhatti paved the way for Bilal Asif as there are lefties in Bangladesh, while Faheem Ashraf was preferred to Usman Shinwari because of his all-round skills. After our convincing win in Karachi, I don’t expect any major changes in the cast, but we did try to cover all of our bases in case the wicket has any surprises in store for us. “
Both tests are part of the ICC World Test Championship. Pakistan took the T20I series 2-0 and also won the one-time ODI. The second test will be held at the Karachi National Stadium during the second leg of the tour in April.
Pakistan Test Squad Against Bangladesh For 1st Test | 7 – 11 February 2020
Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shaan Masood, Yasir Shah